Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




SPACE SCOPES
A Eulogy to Herschel
by Staff Writers for Physics World
London, UK (SPX) Jan 04, 2013


illustration only

With its 2160 liters of liquid helium about to run out, the Herschel Space Observatory will, by the end of March, become just another piece of space junk.

In January's Physics World, Steve Eales, a University of Cardiff astronomer who leads one of the telescope's largest surveys, explains how this space facility has advanced our understanding of star and galaxy formation.

Submillimeter wavelength astronomy -- the kind of astronomy that the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory has been undertaking since blast off in May 2009 -- lets us observe fundamental astronomical events, reaching parts of the universe that optical light cannot.

As Eales writes, "In peering into the big clouds of gas and dust that are the 'maternity wards' of stars and then detecting the submillimeter light emitted from the dust around the newly formed stars, Herschel is doing much to study star formation, which is one of astronomy's 'big questions'."

Held in place by the gravitational forces between the Earth and the Sun, at some 1.6 million kilometers from us, Herschel has been able to detect faint submillimeter radiation from 10 billion years back in time.

Eales remarks on the pace at which our understanding of the universe is advancing thanks to the observatory, which was named after the German-born astronomer William Herschel, who discovered infrared radiation and the planet Uranus, with help from his sister Caroline.

Recalling whole nights spent looking for one new galaxy with its submillimeter predecessor -- the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii -- Eales describes how he recently turned up 7000 new galaxies in barely 16 hours using Herschel data.

The 2160 liters of helium that Herschel blasted off with has kept the observatory cold enough to ensure that the heat given off by its own machinery doesn't confuse its readings.

This March, however, the helium will run out and Herschel will be defunct. But, as Eales writes, "the treasure trove of Herschel data will be picked through by astronomers for years to come".

Source: Physics World

.


Related Links
Physics World
Space Telescope News and Technology at Skynightly.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE SCOPES
An Image Gallery Gift from NASA's Swift
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jan 02, 2013
Of the three telescopes carried by NASA's Swift satellite, only one captures cosmic light at energies similar to those seen by the human eye. Although small by the standards of ground-based observatories, Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) plays a critical role in rapidly pinpointing the locations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the brightest explosions in the cosmos. But as the prox ... read more


SPACE SCOPES
Russia designs manned lunar spacecraft

GRAIL Lunar Impact Site Named for Astronaut Sally Ride

NASA probes crash into the moon

No plans of sending an Indian on moon

SPACE SCOPES
Stanford researchers develop acrobatic space rovers to explore moons and asteroids

Researchers Identify Water Rich Meteorite Linked To Mars Crust

Mars meteorite has significant water

'Spiky' rovers could explore martian moon

SPACE SCOPES
Congress Approves Bill Supporting Human Space Exploration

China's Chengdu aiming to be world's next Silicon Valley

Satellite highs, suspension lows for Indian space sector in 2012

NASA's Destination Station Exhibit Opens In Mesa, Arizona

SPACE SCOPES
Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

SPACE SCOPES
Station Crew Ringing in New Year

Expedition 34 Ready to Ring in New Year

New ISS crew docked at Space Station

Expedition 34 Spends Christmas in Space

SPACE SCOPES
CSF Applauds Passage Of Risk-Sharing Regime Extension For Launch Industry

Rokot Launch Set for January 15

Russian rocket launch rescheduled

Investigation into Proton Launch Anomaly Continues as Root Cause is being Evaluated

SPACE SCOPES
Billions and Billions of Planets

ALMA Shows How Young Star and Planets Grow Simultaneously

ALMA Sheds Light on Planet-Forming Gas Streams

A stray planet

SPACE SCOPES
COM DEV wins commercial contract from MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates

Thai 'scavengers club' turns trash to treasure

Malaysia convoy in Australia rare earth plant protest

All Systems Go for Highest Altitude Supercomputer




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement